Our Life in Beer 2010
You wouldn’t know it based on the frequency of updates on the site, but we did actually have a life in beer in 2010. Though very few reviews made it to the site Father and Son Beer Love met nearly every Thursday night for our online Skype beer review that results in our handwritten notes using our fanciful beer review form which we make available free to you online because we love you so much it hurts sometimes. Or something like that. Our current backlog of hand written beer reviews we need to type and post online sits at 75. We are not making that up.
Obviously the big deal in 2010 for us was the rebranding of the site from Dr. Beer Love to The BeerFathers – that was a good move for us for a lot of reasons, most of which we outlined in our post explaining why we made the name change.
Our previous life in beer post, which should have happened in 2009, actually was in 2008. Needless to say we’re a bit overdue. As always, the reason for this life in beer retrospective is to go back through the past year to see what we learned, what we liked and how we grew. So here are our thoughts on our life in beer in 2010 (note: these beers were new to us in 2010, not necessarily new beers that came out in those years):
- Best New Beer Style of 2010: Gueze Lambic
When The BeerFathers smelled their first gueze lambic they had a Dr. Cox style reaction (from Scrubs) – “I’m gagging and vomiting at the same time… I’m… I’m gavomiting!”
However, when we tasted it we immediately fell in love. Never has something that smelled like sweat socks tasted so fanciful! Gueze lambic, as with all lambics, is a hard addiction though, because lambics just aren’t a cheap beer (starting point of around $5 or $6 a bottle). But if you can find a Gueze, hold off on your next two Starbucks grande latte enemas and get the Gueze. You will not be disappointed.
- Best Beer of 2010: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
This beer has everything in the world we like – bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and a smoothness that is out of this world. It’s little stepbrother, Founders Breakfast Stout, was a great intro, but the KBS, as it’s called, is like the difference between the Yankees and the Mets (meaning there’s more pinstripes). Interestingly the KBS isn’t just the regular Breakfast Stout with more stuff, it’s a completely different beer. It’s everything we look for in a stout, aside from the fact you can only get it during a brief window of the year, like you’re launching a space shuttle. Runner up: Duck Rabbit Rabid Duck.
- Best Non-Stout of 2010: Aventinus Weizen Eisbock
“Non-stout,” in our year end reviews, is our highbrow way of saying “lager.” Stouts tend to dominate our favorite beer selections so this keeps us grounded and looking for other beers that can hold their own without necessarily being brewed with top-fermenting ale yeast. To that point, the Aventinus Weizen Eisbock joins 2008’s winner, the Aventinus Doppelbock, as our favorite non-stout of the year – by far. Our review, when finished, had 22 aromas and 21 tastes – and this bad boy is a malt lover’s delight. It’s a privilege of a beer to drink and one of the highest rated non-stouts you’ll find on our site. Perhaps we should call this category the “Best Aventinus Beer of the Year.”
- Best Fruited Beer of 2010: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
To say the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is our favorite fruited beer of the year was tough, because we weren’t 100% that pumpkin was a fruit. We did some research and found that it is technically a fruit, in the same way that tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, green beans and bell peppers are also fruits. Have we lost you? Yeah, us too. Turns out if the item in question has seeds it is technically a fruit, in a truly botanical sense of the term. “Vegetable” is not actually a botanical term, it’s more of a culinary term, and is a bit more open to interpretation. So we’ll just say pumpkin is both a fruit and a vegetable (full explanation here). All that being said, the DFH Punkin Ale absolutely blew our socks off. It is perfectly spiced and is probably the finest example of a beer fitting the season it’s brewed for. It just gives us one more reason to look forward to fall. Honorable mention: Founders Cerise.
- Best IPA of 2010: Dogfish Head 120 Minute
If you’ve met us or read anything we’ve ever written, you know that we’re not really hopheads. We’ve been called everything from malt madmen to malt mavens to malt mofos, but that doesn’t keep us from trying beers we know are hoppy – and there’s no better known hoppy beer than an IPA. This past year we had the chance, thanks to a friend of ours, to try the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and we were floored when we did. The DFH 90 Minute won in this space in 2008, but when you try the 120 Minute you’ll know what happened with those extra 30 minutes. The ABV comes in at 18% (double the 90 Minute version), which is reason enough to put it here, but there’s a lot more going on with this than an alcohol wallop. The smell is dominated by the hops but the taste is dominated by the malts. We labeled it “a malt lover’s IPA” and we think that about sums it up perfectly. It’s so good we decided to cellar some to try around 2025. If you can get it, get it.
- Best Non-Classifiable Beer of 2010: Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Every now and then you try one of those beers that really just messes with you and Dogfish Head is really good at coming up with these – ones that push the outer limits of “beer.” The Midas Touch is no exception. It’s based on a 2,700 year old Turkish recipe from the tomb of King Midas and DFH’s web site says it’s somewhere between a wine and a mead. RateBeer calls it a traditional ale, BeerAdvocate calls it an herbed/spiced beer and the bottle calls it a golden elixir. What do we call it? Damn good. It’s got barley, white muscat grapes, honey and safron and it is unlike anything else we’ve tried.
- Best Beer Review of 2010: Beer Float Social
Yes, we know technically it wasn’t a beer review per se, but we sure had a lot of fun with our Beer Float Social. My wife came up with the idea after seeing it in Southern Living and it was a perfect summer treat for us to experiment with.
Looking back on 2010 it’s easy to see it was a good year for The BeerFathers. We got to continue our mecca towards complete beer enlightenment by trying new stuff and expanding our beer acumen. It was also an epic year for the The BeerFathers web site – despite our lack of updates we’re getting around 9,000 unique visitors a month, so we feel like we continue to help push good beer out to the world. Thanks to everyone for loving the beer with us – here’s to beer in 2011!
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